C-GOMI or “Gomi” as I’ve come to call it, is a 1974 Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee Cruiser. It has a Lycoming O-320-E3D engine that is rated at 150 horsepower at 2700 rpm. Gomi has 4 seats, but with a useful load of about 750 lbs. it’s really a 3 seat aircraft depending on how much fuel is on board and how heavy the pilot and passengers are.
Piper initially produced successful high wing “tube and rag” fabric covered airplanes but they were interested in modernizing. In 1960 the first Cherokee took to the air as Piper developed its series of all metal, low wing airplanes. The first Cherokee was offered for sale to the public in 1963. The design of the aircraft with its “hershey bar” wing and tight fuselage was inexpensive to build and easy to fly. It can best be described as a tough, stable aircraft. These attributes make it a great training aircraft.
Gomi was originally imported to Canada in July of 1974 and spent 13 years in Whitehorse, Yukon where it was used as a training aircraft until it was sold and moved to Calgary, Alberta in 1987. In 1994 it moved again to British Colombia where it was based in Gibsons and Victoria for the next 5 years. In 1999 it moved to Steinbach, Manitoba which was where I was first introduced to it.
I purchased Gomi in 2005, based it in Steinbach for about a year, then moved it to Lyncrest Airport and became a member of the Springfield Flying Club. In September of 2006 I built a hangar at Lyncrest airport and that’s where Gomi is today.
Gomi spent most of its life to date being flown as a training aircraft and many people see this as a negative thing. I however, like it when I run into someone I haven’t met before and it comes out that they indeed have flown Gomi in the past and relate to me their adventures in it. It happens often. I know it sounds corny, but I feel like I am charged with preserving a bit of an icon. There are many names and places all over North America recorded in Gomi’s journey logs.
To date Gomi has proven to be a fun and reliable airplane, which I hope I can continue to enjoy for many years to come.